FTR looks back on AEW Holiday Bash six-man tag, credits Sting & CM Punk for letting them structure the match

Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler look back at the match as one of their favorites and getting to lay everything out

Photo Courtesy: All Elite Wrestling

It is one match that FTR say they will always hold in high regards.

As of this writing, the duo known as FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) are the reigning IWGP, AAA and ROH World Tag Team Champions. They added the IWGP Tag Titles at the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door show in June.

Harwood and Wheeler were guests on the Culture State podcast and while looking back on some of their favorite moments from this stretch of their careers, they dove into the AEW Holiday Bash six-man they were a part of when they teamed with MJF to take on CM Punk, Sting and Darby Allin.

They shared that Sting and Punk gave them the reins to structure the match and it is one that both Harwood and Wheeler think highly of and one they feel they’ll always remember.

Wheeler: One of my favorites [six-man tag at AEW Holiday Bash].

Harwood: Honest to God, I talk today about that match. It’s very funny you bring it up. That’s one of my favorite matches, one of my favorite memories, it was incredible. I think one of the best things for me is that Sting and CM Punk, you know, Punk’s a little — is a half-a-generation before us. But, I also equate us on the same par and not as far as stardom, I’m not thinking that but I mean like as far as wrestling and where we are at right now. But, to have him and Sting, two guys that I’ve looked up to, two guys that I’ve watched, to have the trust in us to call that match, I’ll never forget it. That’s one of my proudest accomplishments. I mean two Hall of Famers — well Punk is a future Hall of Famer. Two of the greatest of all time, two guys that we strive to be in this business had the confidence in us to allow us [to] call that match. I mean call it from the stuff we did in the back but also, the stuff we didn’t call. The stuff that was in the ring that was organic, we got to call that… Sting is responsible for that [doing dives], but we were responsible for where it was placed, how it was done. He wants to deliver and that’s — you know, he could rest on being Sting, you know what I mean? He could go out there and just be Sting and still be incredible but he wants to give the fans something. But yeah, that match is one of my proudest moments in my career.

Wheeler: Yeah, that’s one of those matches where I think, especially when I officially retire, hang up the boots or whatever, I’m sure I’ll be able to sit back and see things a lot differently, just because it’s hard to see everything when you’re in it. I appreciate everything we’re doing right now so much but I know even more so in 10, 20 years, I’ll be able to look back on this and be like, ‘Man, what a life I’ve lived. What a stupid amount of cool things I’ve gotten to do’ and that’s gonna be very high on the list because Greensboro is important to me, just because it’s such a rich wrestling history as far as things that have happened there. Those guys in that match mean a lot to me, especially seeing a guy like you said, a Sting who [is] 63-years-old now, still going out there week after week and wanting to give people more than their money’s worth, more than their price of admission, more than what he’s expected to do. He’s always gonna overdeliver. A guy like Punk who came back after eight years, pretty much the entire time we’ve been a tag team, literally same length, eight-plus years and now he’s back and he’s having some of the most fun he’s ever had and guys like on the up — the young up-and-comers like Darby [Allin] and Max who are gonna be around for the next 15-plus years. Having all these people in a match right there and I had family that was in town because it’s such an easy drive for them now. So to have a match for me, that much star power as like just names in there and they all trust us and we’re peers with those guys, not just — they’re no longer guys I just look up to and admire and watch on TV and hope to one day emulate or be like. Now they’re peers, now they’re co-workers, now they’re guys I can — like Dax was saying, we get to go out there and trust us with their livelihoods and those guys have done — especially Punk and Sting, they can hang it up and be done and never have to worry about anything another day in their lives but they trust us with their bodies to go out there and protect them because they’re just doing this now for the fans. They are putting themselves at risk for people, for people that pay to come see them. They don’t have to and they trust us enough with their bodies, with their lives. To go out there and have a match like that, yeah, means a lot.

Earlier in the conversation, Cash spoke about talents who he and Dax respectively crossed paths with on the North Carolina independent scene. He mentioned that while they were in NXT, they pitched to bring The Bravado Brothers (Lancelot Bravado & NXT 2.0’s Andre Chase) in. Wheeler said it’s a shame they weren’t signed as a team.

Wheeler: The Bravado Brothers are a team I would have loved to work with and we pitched when we were in NXT as a team because we [FTR] wanted to work with those guys, and now, one of ‘em did get signed but, as a team they didn’t and that’s a shame. For me, I feel like that’s a shame because there was so many guys and now to see what we’ve done… what so many guys have been able to accomplish, you wouldn’t think it would be possible. Growing up in Old Fort, North Carolina, I thought I was done for as far as the wrestling career. So to see it now get some recognition and see the amount of talent that comes out of there and people are actually aware of them before they break out, it’s cool.

Harwood and Wheeler were in action on the 6/29 Dynamite and following tonight’s AEW programming, check out POST Wrestling’s Rewind-A-Dynamite podcast.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the Culture State podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions. 

About Andrew Thompson 3949 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.